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May 15, 2005

Dana Milbank on the Bolton Nomination

He writes:

A Defection on the GOP Side: Lugar, as shepherd of Bolton's nomination, was scarcely more helpful.... It was, perhaps, not the ideal slogan for confirmation: Bolton -- not a criminal. Only four days earlier, Lugar predicted that Bolton would be endorsed by the committee on a party-line vote. Yesterday, he was reduced to urging colleagues not to 'reject Secretary Bolton without even granting him a vote on the Senate floor.'The difference, of course, was Voinovich, who challenged Bush and GOP leaders in a way few of his colleagues have dared. 'What message are we sending to the world community?' he asked about Bolton. Though he said that 'all things being equal' he would support a presidential nominee, 'all things are not equal.' Responding to a main White House argument, he added: 'To those who say a vote against John Bolton is against reform of the U.N., I say, 'Nonsense.' ' Lugar held a thin smile while Voinovich talked. Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R-R.I.), who took a political risk by backing Bolton, stared at his water glass and looked as if he were about to cry...

Posted by DeLong at May 15, 2005 07:50 PM